THE Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has expressed its confidence to meet the 850,000 metric tonnes production target it has set for itself this year.
Despite the country recording late rains this year, COCOBOD believes it is still on course to meet the target.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations, Nana-Oduro Owusu, said this in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS when the German International Development Cooperation (GIZ) presented 25 mini projectors to the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD.
“This year, we have projected for 850,000 and although there were some late rains, things have improved and we are, therefore, on course to meet our target,” he noted.
He said COCOBOD had introduced many measures in a bid to meet its target, key among them being the hand pollination programme.
He added that the results so far from the hand pollination programme indicated that the country would have improved production this year.
“We are also engaged in the pruning of cocoa farms where we are cutting down most of the overgrown cocoa trees an also putting in place irrigation facilities,” he stated.
Nana Oduro Owusu gave an assurance that COCOBOD was committed to working with the GIZ closely to ensure a sustainable cocoa economy
The GIZ, one of COCOBOD’s partners in cocoa sustainability, presented 25 mini-projectors to the Cocoa Health and Extension Division to support its extension works in some cocoa growing communities across the country.
Presenting the items to the Board, the Technical Advisor to GIZ, Ms Charlotte Chirimuuta, recounted the long-standing relationship between GIZ and COCOBOD over the years and stated that the partnership had led to the introduction and adoption of modern trends in cocoa farming.
She said the partnership was to attract young people into cocoa farming by educating them through digital means on Good Agronomic Practices (GAPs) to improve productivity and livelihood.
Ms Chirimuuta said the introduction of small battery hand projectors had provided digital extension materials in the form of 3-D videos to train farmers and give them a better perspective of mechanised farming.
“We are handing over these gadgets to COCOBOD to continue the training programmes in the various farmer business schools. We believe that this will also strengthen the ties between our two companies”, she indicated.
The Executive Director of CHED, Mr Emmanuel Opoku, expressed his gratitude to GIZ for their support and assured them that COCOBOD would ensure that they are used for the intended purpose.
Mr Opoku added that the board would continue to work with GIZ for technical advice and assistance when the need arises.